sausage stuffed zucchini boats


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Happy Labor Day everyone!  Nothing could be better than waking up at 10:30am on a “work-day” with not a single work-related e-mail in my inbox.  With the monsoon thunderstorm outside, and the laundry complete, I figured it would be a great chance to try out a new dinner recipe.

Zucchinis were my test subject.

K and I have become very fond of zucchini.  Neither of us grew up eating it very often, but we gave it a try earlier this year, and I’m proud to say, it has made it to the weekly vegetable rotation in the household.  We like it because it’s easy and versatile. There are so many way to prepare it, not only as a side, but in this recipe, it’s a main component!  A nice change of pace from the usual “vegetable on the side” routine that we tend to have.

Not only was this recipe delicious, with so many unique flavors coming together beautifully, it was extremely filling.  I will admit, prep time and cook time combined was over an hour, but I felt that it was well worth the wait.

Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats
(Serves 4)

1 teaspoon olive oil, plus more for baking dish
4 medium-sized zucchini, about 2 pounds
1 pound sausage, such as spicy chorizo or Italian, removed from casing
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup panko bread crumbs
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Drizzle a large baking dish with olive oil.

Since you are not peeling the zucchini, make sure they are nice and clean.  Halve each zucchini lengthwise, so you end up with 8 equal pieces of zucchini.  Holding the zucchini in one hand, and a teaspoon in the other, slowly scrape the seeds and flesh from the zucchini.  This may seem difficult at first, but you will quickly get the hang of it.  Reserve 1/2 cup of this flesh.  Leave enough of a border so that the zucchini maintains its integrity.  Place the zucchini, cut sides up, on the baking dish.

Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and sausage.  Break up the sausage using your spatula.  Cook until the sausage is browned and the onion is softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and the reserved zucchini flesh and cook for 1 minute more.  Remove from the heat and let cool about 5 minutes.

Add the panko bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, salt, and the egg to the sausage mixture.  Mix well.  Divide this mixture among the zucchini boats.  Bake until the filling is firm and the zucchini is tender, with wrinkles around the edges, about 35 to 40 minutes.

– food on,
Sharon

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